The Day Zikora Died

It’s another December 10, and I can’t describe accurately how I feel. Am I supposed to cry? Am I supposed to scream? Should I be happy for their sake? I don’t know anymore. Two years ago today I was an SS3 student in boarding school waiting impatiently for my mom to send the driver to come take me home from the first term of the year. Two years ago, I got home, and before late afternoon, my entire world crashed into pieces around me. I remember my first day n JS1 at Loyola Jesuit College as clearly as yesterday, and and I remember the day the plane crashed equally clearly. We went to my aunt’s house to see my baby cousin, then suddenly, a phone call, and my Mom burst into tears.
I hate to see my mother cry. It breaks my heart. But the way she cried that day chilled me to the bone. We began calling frantically. First Angela, then Pea, then Patrick, then everyone. No one was picking up their phone. Finally, I called Zikora. His name was always last in my phone book by virtue of its first letter. The call didn’t even go through. I blamed MTN. I’ve always thought their service was crappy anyway. All over Abuja, people switched on their television sets, hoping to catch some word of what was happening in Port Harcourt, but bloody NTA was showing soccer. I will never forgive them for that. Not if I live to be a million years old. AIT was the only channel that broadcast a glimpse of Port Harcourt airport, and then they were shut down.
That’s when the rumours started filtering in. A plane had crashed. No one knew what airline. Many had died. All had survived. There were no survivors. Next came the confirmations. It was a Sosoliso plane, it was carrying mostly children, students from Loyola Jesuit College, there were almost no survivors. I swear, it still feels like a dream to me. I’m hoping to wake up, aren’t you? I’d come home from Loyola just a few hours ago. It couldn’t be them anyway, we always went by first flight, and this crash had happened just after noon. Then I got a grim bit of news. The first flight had been canceled, and Sosoliso had merged it with the next flight.
That was precisely the moment when my heart began to race. Still no word from anyone. Then at 6pm or thereabout, Angela called. I think my Mom was even more relieved than I was to hear her, then we started a head count of sorts. Where was Pea? She was at home in Lagos. Where were Rekiya and Patrick? Lagos too. Where was Yimi? She was there with Angela. Great, great, it was going just great. Where was Zikora?…..Silence….. Where was Zikora?

“He’s gone.” She almost whispered.

And I, who had not felt afraid or cried that entire day, began to scream in sharp, ear-splitting bursts. My heart broke. I felt like something was clawing away at my soul. It was agony to hear her say the words, and they kept echoing in my head and ringing in my ears. I would have given anything for her to unsay those words, but that power is not hers to use.

I’m sorry. I’m crying as I type this, and in the beginning I didn’t know if I was supposed to cry. I guess I am. My body still knows what it feels even though my mind is numb. I can’t do this anymore. It hurts. I’m sorry. I can’t type anymore.

There are 11 comments

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  1. Anonymous

    May his soul and the souls of others who died in that ill fated flight rest in the bossom of the lord peacefuly(amen).May God save Nigeria from this plane crash thingy.The industry needs to be overhauled.I don’t think any noticeable drastic measures have been effected because we still hear some funny stories with local air lines.It’s almost the end of the year and thank heavens we’ve not heared any resurgence of plane crash. CYNTHIA!

  2. sugabelly

    @CYNTHIA: you’re right, the aviation industry needs to be cleaned out completely. It’s so upsetting to see the kind of discrepancies that go on in there at the risk of so many people’s lives. We keep talking about change in Nigeria, but each generation keeps doing the same thing.


    I am soooo sorry for your loss and the pain that you feel. I remember watching the news that day and racing to my phone to call my mom and make sure we had no family on the flight. Unfortunately, 2 of my aunt’s daughters passed on that flight.

    My sista, take heart.

  4. sugabelly

    I’m so sorry about your cousins. Losing people that you love is always excruciating. I don’t like to think about what happened that day because it still makes me cry. God peace.

  5. Anonymous

    i’m so sorry to hear you knew zikora, he was a primary school mate of mine, but we lost touch after primary school, i was shocked when i heard the news. zikora was a very brilliant boy, may his soul rest in perfect peace, Amen

  6. Her Royal Poshness

    It’s funny that I clicked on December 10 and got taken 2 years back. I remember clearly turning on the TV that day and seeing some woman screaming that all her three children had died. It didn’t mean anything to me then, I just felt sad for a few minutes and I was happy again but I’ve just shed tears reading this. It feels like I now know someone who was affected by the crash and I can feel the pain.

    God has different plans for everyone. Whatever Zikora could have been wasn’t meant to be.

    Thank God you live in Abuja- it means that there is someone out there to keep his memory alive.
    Besides this blog would not have existed and I would have to be doing something else this moment.

  7. dowenini

    I named my daughter zikora,she was born on the 4th of may 2011. I just googled the name and came across this. I’m so sorry..I feel so much pain now and sad for u. I pray his soul rests in peace.., I never flet so much pain like this, when I heard the news on the tv. God knows best $ why it had to happen. Zikora, where ever you are..,you are remembered $ loved by people even after your exit!!! I’ll always remember you now, whenever I call my daughter. I hope $ pray she is as brilliant as you. Rest in peace!!!

  8. Anonymous

    Zikora was my close friend back in living world academy primary school. I can never forget his high level of intelligence which most of us envied then. Hê and his siblings were born with high I.Q’s….. I think i saw him last at primary five….I learnt of death a couple of years after it hapened. I can’t being in the best of moods that day. Later on my cousin came around with a magazine which i quickly grabbed to glance through only to run into Zikora’s name and pictures along with his little sister Chidinma as victim of the Sosoliso crash.. I remember weeping so bitterly afterwards, my cousin regretted ever bringing the magazine around. May the souls of Zik, Chidinma and rest of the crash victims rest in peace.

  9. Maureen Nwachukwu

    Can’t bliv I’m readn dis nw. Zikora was our biggest challenge bk den in Living Word Academy. I always imagined how hot his second. Skul mates would hav it wiv him and den…boom!!! He was gone! God knows best anyway. May His soul n dat of his sister n d rest of d 60 angels RIP. Can’t say more. #sobbn#

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